Murals by Mustangs

Art and German clubs work together to create murals around the school

Emily Schmucker, Staff Writer

When Art teacher Jon Austin and German teacher Wendy Brennan realized something was missing from the empty and blank walls of the art and language stairwells, they knew they had to do something about it. After some brainstorming and discussing, the pair decided on collaborating to create two murals, combining art with a German twist.

“We thought why don’t we team up, let’s pick a German artist for German Club, and then my kids [Art Club members] with hers could paint these murals,”Austin said.

Austin and Brennan chose German artist Franz Marc–who is known for painting abnormally colored animals–as inspiration for the murals. With Franz Marc’s work in mind, the two decided for a single blue mustang to be painted at the end of the art stairwell, as well as a stampede of mustangs painted in the language stairwell.

Throughout the process, Austin had the role of printing the mural images onto large sheets of paper, enabling students to transfer the images onto the school’s walls. Alongside his printing job, he and Brennan took it upon themselves to raise money to buy the supplies needed to put together the murals.

While Austin and Brennan planned this project, it is the Art Club and German Club members who are carrying it out.

“I want it to be mostly student done, so it can be their activity,” Austin said

Sophomore Ainsley Scritchfield has been working on these murals firsthand. She helped sketch out the underlying drawings onto the walls, which ultimately proved to be a difficult task.

“With murals the size of the ones we’re doing, sketching the underlying drawings onto the wall is usually a 5-6 person task,” Scrutchfield said. “It takes a few tries before it resembles what it’s supposed to.”

Scritchfield works on the murals whenever she can, and her and the Art Club’s hard work and dedication is not going unnoticed.

“It’s really cool to see a boring hallway being lightened up by a really colorful piece of art, and I think it’s really cool that people in the Art Club are so talented to be able to paint these pieces on the walls,” junior Micheal Driesen said.

While Scritchfield is hard at work with sketching the murals, other Art Club members have begun to paint the murals.

 Freshman Violet Bredenkamp helped with both drawing and painting the murals. She described the painting process as being both unique and untraditional.

“It doesn’t matter if there are streaks of other colors in it [the mural] because that’s just the whole theme of the piece, and everybody can paint a piece,” Violet said.

By communicating and working with one another, the Art Club members hope to finish both murals in about a month.

“I think it’s cool that while these students [are here], and a lot of them are freshmen that get to be here at Millard North for four years, they’ll get to say, ‘Hey, I helped make that.’ There’s some pride in the students and their friends,”Austin said. 

These murals will stay in the school for many years to come, impacting and encouraging many people in both big ways and small.

“Making something that’s meant to stick around and inspire others is thrilling. It truly makes me feel like I’m part of something. I’m helping to make history,” Scritchfield said.